31 days til divorce hearing: Shame

The post title is probably misleading, as I don’t have shame about the divorce. Rather, about several other things. And, in fact, my thoughts have been marinating in this shame. What am I ashamed about?

Well, in my last post I wrote about my weight problem, and that is my primary shame. This is a problem as it has no immediate solution. I go to a physician who specializes in hormones and weight loss on Monday and they will help me come up with a plan. I see this as my only solution to the shame problem regarding my weight.

Except, it isn’t. There has to be a way to accept and appreciate what my body does for me right now. To be grateful for how it functions, as others aren’t as fortunate. I have requested an appointment with my therapist to discuss this matter. I cannot live with this level of disgust regarding my body. And even when I start losing weight I must learn how to be patient and kind to myself.

And then there is my hair. As it is almost entirely grey (at least at the front and sides, the back is surprisingly dark brown, my natural color used to be a medium warm brown), I finally look my age for the first time in my life: 41. My face is still pretty plump and youthful but I am starting to see lines around my eyes, and those, combined with my grey hair, make me, for the first time, actually look middle aged. Up until I let my hair go grey I looked early 30s and could occasionally pass for late 20s. When I was in my 20s I still looked like a young teen. Gone are those days, and that’s a weird thing for me.

But what I’m really concerned about is my haircut. For some reason the top of my hair has gotten poofy and large. It is misbehaving, hard to tame after I sleep. This morning it almost looked like a mohawk. Also, my thick hair gives away that it was a hack job, the lines are not smooth. And the hair in the back near my neck is longer, so it looks like I have a mini-mullet. None of this is flattering, especially with my round face. I don’t want to go out looking like this.

I’m going to my ex’s today to see if we can fix the issue in the back. I know, why my ex? Well, he and I are occasionally friends and we have cut each other’s hair many times. I have tried getting in with my hair salon but they are busy for weeks. I am too scared and ashamed to go anywhere else. I’m afraid they’ll laugh at me and look down on me. For going grey and for being silly trying to cut my hair by myself.

I guess what I’m afraid of more than the hair dresser is my social groups’ reaction. I look like a dowdy grandma, not a thriving 40-something, and I’m hoping everyone can overlook that and not see me as a fat person with a bad haircut. As it was, I was already the biggest and least attractive person in my friend group, and now that has gotten worse.

It’s just hair, and it’s just weight. These things can change: hair grows whether I want it to or not (at least on my head, which I’m grateful for), weight can come off with hard work.

A friend invited me for lunch or dinner sometime soon. She’s well-off, pretty and slim. She hasn’t treated me any different because of my weight but I’m afraid once she sees my hair she will.

And I realized I’m hurt by a mutual friend of ours. Every time I think we are hanging out just the three of us, or just the two of us, this other friend invites several other people. I realize I’ve only hung out with this other friend by ourselves twice since I’ve known her these past 10 months, but a few months ago the three of us would hang out every other week for several weeks there and now I’m only invited to parties. The friend who wants to invite me over even said, we are only in contact at parties. I want to hang out with you one-on-one. Which, is awesome. That took away some of the hurt I experienced from the other friend.

And then there is my mother, who keeps reminding me, “You are at that age where…” and to take better care of my health. She was horrified last time she saw my grey roots. Said it made her feel old. Well, guess what mom, you’re not a spring chicken. And neither am I anymore.

But aging doesn’t bother me as much. I’ve got lots of friends in their 50s and they are vibrant and happy and active. My mom is in her mid-60s and she’s also vibrant and active. I realize aging is scary but also I realize I have, if all goes well, a lot of life ahead of me. If my mom lives to be her parents age, she has at least 30 years left. Which, I suppose I need to be sympathetic about, but I just wish she’d accept me as I am, meaning she’ll accept me with my grey hair. And don’t get me started on her fat-phobia.

I feel a little raw. I cried for the first time in ages yesterday (other than when I watched a certain emotional episode of Stranger Things – don’t worry, no spoilers!) For the life of me, now I don’t know why I was crying but it seemed important.

Writing this out has made me feel better. I think the worst thing I can do is hide for months just because I don’t want to be seen because of my weight/hair problem. I deserve to have fun. Who cares if I don’t impress anyone. And if anyone is to shallow to hang out with my awesome self, that’s their problem.

Except, it’s mine too. I don’t want to be alone again.

Why do I feel so raw? Could it be because my divorce is coming up soon?

I regret chopping off my hair. Even if I can get it to look good, it’ll bring me attention. I just want to fade into the background. I know that’s because I’m feeling shame. This will pass. My hair isn’t that bad. I’m not that fat. People will still like me. Right?

5 thoughts on “31 days til divorce hearing: Shame

  1. I happen to think you are adorable, and your writing blows me away. These last few weeks have been life-changing for me. My mother died, I saw my estranged daughter (who still views me with contempt), and tested positive for covid which means I cannot take part in the funeral except virtually. All of this sucks. I feel your pain, Quixie.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you. Feeling pretty unsettled, upended. Still tending to unfinished details and looking forward to simplicity, if it exists. Isn’t easy to describe the feelings as they are all over the place. Taking it easy this afternoon, about halfway through “A Flicker in the Dark” by Stacy Willingham.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always told my daughters that “Do whatever you want to your hair, it’s not permanent, it will grow out.” Cut it short, dye it blue, shave it off, I don’t care. It grows back, and you get a fresh choice to decide what you want it to be. (And funny thing, they never took me up on it. They always have grown it long and straight. My older daughter donated hers once, when it had grown long enough to sit on. But that’s it.)

    You are in the process of figuring out who you are and who you want to be. Divorce, new jobs, new apartment. Changing things is what’s normal for you right now. Go ahead and mess with your hair, try new stuff, have some fun with it as it grows out.

    And changing your hair may bring you temporary attention, along the lines of “You changed your hair!” but then it will quickly become old news. Unless you go with a full pink mohawk or something.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve made a mess of my hair more than once cutting it myself (don’t even ask about my foray into bangs)…I had to book with various hairdressers to get these situations fixed and was never once shamed by them. They all said many people attempt to cut their own hair and end up coming in for fixes. I thought your hair looked super cute in your photo, but photos don’t show everything…what’s most important is that you feel good in it, so do get it touched up by a pro if you can manage it.

    I do think looks matter…they are not everything of course, but people will get impressions about you and make assumptions about you based on how you present. I have many of the same body image issues/concerns you do, and have to work hard to appreciate my physical self for the few things it can still do. My mom, who like yours is shocked and horrified by my gray hair, has a saying I like: “do the best you can with what you’ve got.” This does not extend to hair dye for me (much to her dismay), but I try to present in a reasonably put-together way as often as I can.

    Liked by 1 person

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About Quixie

Hi! I go by "Quixie." Quixie is a shortened version of "quixotic," which means: "exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical." It's how I described my evangelical Christian faith when I started blogging 7 years ago. Now I'm an agnostic atheist who is trying to find a balance between idealism and reality. I write about my mental health journey with bipolar disorder, my loss of faith (deconversion), parenting teens, reading, exercise/health, work-life, and my marriage separation/divorce.